Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Garden State

DQ reader Justin highly recommended the movie "Garden State" in an e-mail last week. Zach Braff (of "Scrubs" fame) wrote and directed the film, and I rented it based on Justin's recommendation. I expected a light-hearted, slapstick comedy in the tradition of Scrubs.

I was very wrong. And I mean that in a good way.

Garden State is very thoughtful, dark, and funny. Braff not only proves that he can write more complex comedy, but he also proves himself to be surprisingly skilled as a director. I didn't realize he was a major talent until I saw this film.

Natalie Portman is excellent, and she's lovely, and there's nothing wrong with any of that.

What this movie does remarkably well is convey the sense of feeling awkward inside one's own skin. I'm not sure I've ever seen it done better. So in some ways it uncomfortable to watch at times, particularly if you share that feeling (I do quite often), but it is an interesting and memorable film.

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